Aficionados of Facebook punch-up Mafia Wars will no longer be able to deploy pit bulls as part of their arsenal, following intervention by whale-hugging animal rights outfit PETA.
PETA expressed "concerns" to Zynga Game Network regarding "the portrayal of a chained, snarling pit bull as a 'weapon'" in the popular online game.
The company responded by pulling the pit bull, an act of mercy for which Zynga supremo Mark Pincus will receive some vegan chocolates by way of thanks.
PETA's Executive Vice President, Tracy Reiman, declared last Friday: "Mafia Wars is obviously only a game, but the suffering endured by thousands of pit bulls who are treated as if they were nothing more than burglar alarms or fighting machines is very real.
"By removing Mafia Wars' virtual pit bull, Zynga is no longer perpetuating the mindset that it's acceptable to chain, neglect, and abuse real dogs." ®